LONDON, UK – Prostate cancer is intensifying in African countries where more men, unlike those in developed countries, hardly undergo a medical checkup. Given the damage, Globe Afrique Research and Analysis unit seeks to focus on educating its African readers about the disease.
One in six men will get prostate cancer. However, which men and why? What makes some men predisposed to prostate cancer, and others not diagnosed? Age, race, lifestyle, family history, where you live, and what you eat can be risk factors. Having one or more of the risk factors described on this page is not a guarantee that you will get prostate cancer, but it does mean your chances of developing prostate cancer are high.
According to several medical and related research, men with certain risk factors are more likely to develop prostate cancer. Therefore, talking with one’s physician about his risk factors will help them build an appropriate plan for future prostate cancer screening. These factors can indicate the need for screening at an earlier age or the need for more frequent testing. These main risk factors are listed below.
- Age over 65 – this is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. The older a man gets, the more likely he will develop prostate cancer. This disease is rare in men under 45 years of age.
- Family History – one’s risk of prostate cancer is higher if you have a father, brother, or son with prostate cancer.
- Race – prostate cancer is more common among African American men and less common among Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native American and Native Alaskan men.
- Obesity – Many studies have shown that obese men have a greater risk of dying from prostate cancer, developing a more aggressive cancer, and experiencing disease recurrence after surgery or radiation therapy.
- Diet – Men who consume high levels of fat are more likely not only to develop prostate cancer but also to develop a more aggressive form of the disease. We recommend the adoption of a heart-healthy diet with a focus on including vegetables and fruit with every meal.
- Lifestyle – Stress, and lack of exercise can be the cause of many common diseases. We recommend maintaining a routine of regular exercise. It also suggested that you work to identify and reduce the stress factors in your life.
- Certain Prostate Changes – men with cells called high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk for prostate cancer.
- Certain Genome Changes – research suggests that the risk for prostate cancer may be specific changes on particular chromosomes.
These symptoms and signs of prostate cancer may include the following:
- Frequent urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
- The urge to urinate frequently at night
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the seminal fluid
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Pain or burning during urination, which is much less common
- Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate
Sometimes men with prostate cancer do not have any of these changes. Other noncancerous conditions of the prostate, such as BPH or an enlarged prostate, can cause similar symptoms. Alternatively, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer. Urinary symptoms also can be caused by an infection of the bladder or other conditions.
If cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland, a man may experience:
- Pain in the back, hips, thighs, shoulders, or other bones
- Swelling or fluid buildup in the legs or feet
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in bowel habits
If you are concerned about any changes you experience, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you have been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. It is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.
If diagnosed with prostate cancer, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. It may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.